Anyone here read a lot of non fiction books? I’m big on biographies, especially of people whom I admire, people who came from nothing and achieved something in life. I try to read at least one book each month and the last one I completed was a 700+ page autobiography by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He grew up poor, moved to America and became a bodybuilding world champion. He earned a hundred million dollars through real estate, then he became an international movie star, then he went into politics and became the Governor of California. He did all this while learning to speak English.
In the last chapter of his book, he talks about regrets and failures. It’s a really big and intense chapter.
I’ve read many books written by successful people of all walks of life and even different faith groups and they all have some things in common: sacrifice to the point of being torn, a messy life and deep regrets.
Paul was an extremely successful Jew before he gave his life to Jesus. He studied under the finest teacher and had plenty of life opportunity. If he stayed away from Jesus he could have been promoted into a very comfortable life of luxury maybe even as a high priest or someone in the government council.
Instead he gives his life to Jesus and lives a life of hard sacrifice. He would stay in a city for several years doing the work of the Lord, being beaten, lied against, arrested, tortured, but the thing he hated the most was when it was time to leave that city to go work in another city, because he had to leave behind his good friends. He had done it many times during his incredible life.
And last week I gave you all a challenge, I said that if you want to have a great year, you might have to make some sacrifices including cutting out people from your life. Be honest, did anyone take action on what I said?
There’s no way around it whether you are a Christian or not, if you want to succeed in life, you have to do what it takes. You have to do the thing, probably the very thing you just don’t want to do.
And if you end up doing the thing that is comfortable, the thing that is easy and quick, the thing that requires you to sit back and relax instead of getting to work on the hard stuff, not only will you not have God’s blessing on you, but you’ll have deep regrets later on in life.
In high school, I had a tough life. I had to do my schooling and work almost full time hours to help provide financially for my family. I missed almost all school activities and even received insults from some teachers who thought I was just being rebellious.
I was a bit jealous of some of my peers who seemingly had it all. The complete family, the house, the stability. When they turned 16 they got a car. When they turned 18 the got an inheritance. One of my super lazy friends got more than $500,000 for his inheritance and another friend got tens of millions.
Some of them did great with the blessings they were given, winning people over to Jesus and doing missions worldwide. But most didn’t. Most used their blessings to party and relax while people like me were working to get ahead.
Today, most of those people are nowhere. They still have that same car from high school being held together by duct tape. They spent the inheritance, they have nothing to show for their life except parties and parties and parties because they took the easy way out instead of pressing forward towards something important.
They spent their resources pleasing people instead of pleasing God, and yet to today they have no real friends at all.
That’s not the worst part, the worst part is their level of regret. They hate their life and some of them hate them self. They talk about what they wish they did, what they should have done all along.
Work harder. Work towards something important. Be consistent. Be responsible. Make tough choices. Make the right choices. Stay away from bad people and bad influences. And don’t be a bad person or a bad influence on others or you’ll regret that also.